POWER

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." - Frederick Douglass

Sunday, November 27, 2011

AIR RAID SIRENS BLARING! ADVISORY: SEVERE RISK!

RED ALERT!  URGENT ACTION REQUIRED!
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

THE FASCISTS ARE COMING! THE FASCISTS ARE COMING!

FASCIST IDEOLOGY CONTINUES TO CREEP INTO AMERICAN POLITICS WHILE MANY AMERICANS FOCUS ON HOLIDAY CONSUMERISM, TRASH POP-CULTURE, AND IGNORANT SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.

WE HAVE A MAJOR PROBLEM HERE!

PLEASE READ THIS PIECE FROM THE ACLU ABOUT THE PROPOSED SENATE BILL THAT IF ENACTED, sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA would:

1)  Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;

(2)  Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and

(3)  Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND OUTRAGEOUS!


JUST CLICK ON IT, AND TAKE TWO SECONDS TO FILL IT IN AND SEND IT!


12 WARNING SIGNS OF FASCISM:


1. Exuberant nationalism

Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic images, slogans and symbols - National flags are seen everywhere in public display. Territorial aggression is explained to be mere destiny -- a greatness thrust upon the nation by history.

It is this burden of unique responsibility that now raises the fascist state above all previous constraint, no longer bound by international obligations, treaties or law.

2. Enemies Identified

This national cause is identified as unity against enemies - The people are rallied around a unifying patriotism directed against some common threat: communists, liberals, a racial, ethnic or religious minority, intellectuals, homosexuals, terrorists, etc.

The state's message is sometimes couched in an easily recognized religious theme. Amazingly, this language is used even when the full context of the teaching shows the meaning to be diametrically opposed. Any dissent is "siding with the enemy", and therefore treasonous.

3. Rights Disappear

Disdain for human and political rights - Fascist regimes foster an artificial climate of fear by intentionally amplifying stress and anxiety. Citizens naturally feel a strong need for security and are easily persuaded to ignore abuses in the name of safety. The few still willing to question are met with bullying and smear campaigns of intimidation.

Legislative bodies, if still in existence at all, are cowed into rubber-stamp submission with occasional ceremonial opposition. The judiciary tends to become activist in support of state views. The public often looks away, or even enthusiastically approves as rights are stripped away.

The concept of the individual inevitably yields ground, exchanged for the promised safety of the all-powerful state.

4. Secrecy Demanded

Obsession with secrecy and national security - The workings of government become increasingly hidden. Questioning of authority is discouraged at all levels of society. From office talk at the water cooler up through the entire apparatus of rule, guarded speech and secrecy become ends in themselves.

Troubling questions are muted and entire areas of scrutiny are placed out of bounds by simply invoking "national security".

5. Military Glorified

Supremacy of the military - The military establishment receives a disproportionate share of government resources, even as pressing domestic needs are neglected. Individual soldiers and military culture are glamorized and made constantly visible.

This provides both an object for public glorification, as well as sharp warning to possibly restless citizens that the power of the state stands close at hand, ready to use its great potential for violence.

6. Corporations Shielded

Corporate power is protected - Typically, a segment of the business elite plays a major role in bringing fascists to national leadership, often from an unsavory obscurity. This marriage of big money and raw violence is often considered by historians to be the hallmark and backbone of fascism.

As these business-government-military interests meld, the significant threat of organized labor is clearly recognized. Labor unions and their support organizations are either co-opted successfully or ruthlessly suppressed and eliminated as soon as possible. 

7. Corruption Unchecked

Rampant cronyism and corruption - Fascist states maintain power through this relatively small group of associates, mutually appointing each other to interlocking and rotating positions in government, business and the military.

With this degree of control, they make full use of both official secrecy and the ready threat of state violence to insulate themselves from any meaningful criticism. They are not accountable and are shielded from scrutiny in a way unthinkable in a democratic society. 

8. Media Controlled

Controlled mass media - Sometimes the media are controlled directly by clumsy government functionaries. At other times, sympathetic corporate media insiders shape the themes indirectly, and therefor more skillfully. Image regularly trumps content as the "news" is presented breathlessly and with flashy stage effects.

A practiced formula of tenacious repetition brings even the most absurd lie into acceptance over time. By design, the very language itself and the coloration employed will push alternate views "out of the mainstream".

The terms of any remaining debate are narrowly defined to the state's advantage, making it easy to marginalize a truly differing perspective. Censorship and "self-censorship", especially in wartime, is common.

9. Rampant Sexism

Rampant sexism - Governments of fascist states tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Traditional gender roles are made even more rigid and exaggerated. Condemnation of abortion and a virulent homophobia are commonly built into broad policy.

10. Intellectual Bullying

Disdain for intellectuals - Fascist society tends to create an environment of extreme hostility to critical thought in general, and to academics in particular.

Ideologically driven "science" is elevated and lavishly funded, while any expression not in line with the state view is at first ignored, then challenged, then ridiculed and finally stamped out.

It is not uncommon for academics to be pressured to attack the work of their insufficiently patriotic peers. Writings are censored; teachers are fired and arrested. Free artistic expression in new works is openly attacked, and existing works deemed unpatriotic are often publicly destroyed.

11. Militarized Police

Obsession with crime and punishment - Fascist society is often willing to overlook police abuses and forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. Long jail sentences for clearly political offenses, torture and then assassination are at first uncomfortably tolerated, and then start to pile up to become the norm.

Often a national police force is given virtually unlimited power to snoop through the civilian population. Networks of surveillance and informers are employed, both for actual intelligence gathering and also as a means to keep neighbors and co-workers isolated and mistrustful of each other.

12. Elections Stolen

Fraudulent elections - In the disordered time as fascists are rising to power, the electoral arena becomes increasingly confusing, corrupted, and manipulated.

There is rising public cynicism and distrust over what are widely believed to be phony elections manipulated by moneyed influence, obvious media bias, smear campaigns, ballot tampering, judicial interference, intimidation, or outright assassination of potential opposition. Fascists in power have been known to use this disorder as the rationale to delay elections indefinitely.

UC DAVIS PEPPER SPRAYING INCIDENT IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE!

One of Many Shameful Attempts to Destroy Civil Liberties in "Land of the Free!"

Police Brutality Against Peaceful Protesters Is a Bad Sign For This Country!
Our younger generation deserves better than this! We need to protect them, and our rights!
Oh, really?

Please sign this petition demanding UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi resign immediately!


FIRST THEY CAME (A Holocaust Poem)

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.
    
                                                                 - by Martin Niemöller
THIS IS NOT A TIME FOR INACTION. THAT MEANS YOU.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

STUDENT DEBT IS A NATIONAL THREAT

#OWS DAY OF ACTION:  NOVEMBER 17, 2011
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE DAY IN NEW YORK
THE TIDES ARE TURNING!


Thanks to all of those who are part of the awakening worldwide.

It is important to remember that the greed and corruption that fueled the collapse of the economy and the middle class, was in part enabled by citizens who were not paying attention, and not taking an active interest in their own political lives and the society in which they live. A lot of damage was done throughout that extended period of complacency. The rise of right-wing fascism is particularly dangerous.

If Occupy Wall Street has one message, it is that those days are over. A sixties-era activist I met in DC said, "My generation fell asleep. We stopped challenging the politicians, and look what happened. You can never do that."

Others from that same generation of activists have wondered where the rage is in this country with all of the severe problems we have facing us, a dysfunctional and corrupt system of government, and incompetent and unwilling leaders.

When would people unite and speak up? When would we stop expecting incompetent, corporate controlled politicians to make things right? Citizens around the world have looked in awe as Americans have just watched the country crumble, wondering if someday people would motivate to fight for their rights again.

Someday finally came- at last.

The following is my personal account of being in New York on November 17th, along with some photos. There are photos of other Occupations I have visited, and attended demonstrations in the past two months. I was inspired by the students in New York City who joined the demonstrations Thursday.

 OCCUPY WALL STREET, NEW YORK CITY


It was amazing being part of the OWS protests in New York this Thursday.

I started out by going to Zuccotti Park where people were gathering for the march uptown. We headed up Broadway toward Union Square, where people gathered again for a while.

Things really got interesting after that. The idea had been to return to the area near Zuccotti Park, at Foley Square, and then eventually continue across the Brooklyn Bridge. When the police blocked certain streets, the massive crowds were too much for them to control, so we ended up literally marching in the middle of traffic (and on the sidewalks) down 6th and 7th Avenues, and on other streets as well.

During the whole time, people on the sides of the streets and from buildings cheered us on- and many joined in by leaving school or work to march with us. I never heard a single negative comment (except when people got into it with the cops). The crowd was estimated by police and media to have been over 34,000 people!

One of my favorite images of the day was a group of ballet dancers who were practicing in front of a large glass window at a studio in SoHo when we passed by. They stopped and cheered for the protesters!

Protesters in wheelchairs and others walking with canes were marching too, which I thought was incredible. People in cars honked their horns in support as helicopters flew overhead.

At Foley Square people reconvened as the crowd grew. I had a bite to eat with someone who had camped with Occupy in the park for 3 weeks, and a professor from CUNY who walked out of class with her students to join the protests. The energy of the whole thing was unbelievable.

I continued on across the Brooklyn Bridge. A huge light show was being projected onto the side of the Verizon Building with Occupy messages (like "We are the 99%"), which was really cool. There are videos of it online.

I have seen different things about it in mainstream news, but I never expect too much these days. I know how great it felt to be there for sure and that the movement is building.
BBC, RT, NPR, Rolling Stone, and Democracy Now, have done a good job of reporting on it.


Zuccotti Park
Trickle-Down Theory Did Not Work: Support OWS!
This guy is cool.
Passing "Skank of America"

This sign pretty much speaks for itself, and is right on.
Student Debt IS a national threat!
Ballet dancers in SoHo supporting the march.
People from apartments, stores and offices cheer on the protests. Enough join in that the crowd swells to almost 34,000.
Police and protesters move past the notorious debt-machine, NYU. Many NYU students joined us.
Bail Out Student Loan$!
Whose Homeland? Whose security? Good question.

OCCUPY BOSTON
OCCUPY NEW HAMPSHIRE
OCCUPY BALTIMORE

OCCUPY DC

OCCUPY FORT MYERS

KEEP ON OCCUPYING IN THE "FREE WORLD!"
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